Super Best Audio Friends
The evolution of the original irreverent and irrelevant and non-authoritative site for headphone measurements, i.e. frequency response graphs, CSD waterfall plots, subjective gear reviews. Too objective for subjectivists; too subjective for objectivists
I can confidently recommend these headphones for anyone wanting a budget headphone with a neutral/natural signature. Those who like the Focal Clear or HD650 are likely to enjoy these. If you like John Grados, you might miss upper midrange emphasis. If you like bass heavy headphones, you will likely want more bass than these have.
RS2X (left) vs RS2r (right)
The biggest surprise which caught me off guard was the improvement in resolution, plankton, microdynamics. I had to do a double take; but yes, after direct comparison, the RS2X is as good as the RS1E with respect to immediacy and expressiveness. It would seem that Grado has improved both the RS1X and RS2X over the prior E versions, with the RS2X receiving a greater incremental improvement. As such, the RS2X with the F-cushions has become one of my daily headphones.
First of all, let's get the easy stuff out of the way. The headphones output of the G6 is mediocre. Actually, it's kind of shitty -dirty sounding. Hard to explain, but I'd rather not use it. I haven't measured it yet, but knowing its design, I'm betting the typical suite of SINAD type measurements will be good. The problem is that sometimes the perceived differences are there, but the measurements are not the right ones. We'll see. I'll leave the measurbator stuff for last. As a DAC from the line outs in the back, the G6 is pretty good sounding. Hook up a cheap amp from the likes of iFi or Schiit, are we are done. However, this is extra work, and for movies or games, who really cares about audiophile sound quality?
This is when I realized that I picked up this PCI USB card years ago intending to try it out. I forgot about it until recently when I found in a box of old that I had just unpacked. This card is still available from Amazon, although the brand of it has changed. https://www.amazon.com/BEYIMEI-Expansion-Connector-Suitable-Linux（2X/dp/B08DFBCSH3/
I was just strolling on AliExpress casually and lo and behold - saw the Hifiman Edition XS on AliExpress; just stumbled upon it. For $441ish, it really got me going and then I decided okay, I gotta get this now. Stealth magnets - thinner diaphragm - but most importantly, a price tag at less than $450!
Finally filled my cravings and ordered one off Hifigo. Maybe I could have waited for some reviews. But I knew I had to get one of the egg-shaped Hifimans now, enough is enough. So I bit the bullet - and I'm so glad that I did when I did. I'm really - REALLY loving what I hear. Again, this may be quite subjective at this moment, but I'll throw in some initial impressions and details here with some photos. I don't see an Edition XS thread here so I'm going to put some info here. I've read that this is [at the moment], a China-only edition, and will arrive in other markets soon - not sure how true this is.
tldr; the E2 is a fun, beauty of an amp. It's smooth, clean AF, and a pleasure to listen to. It is a bit more dry and does not have the bloom, slam and space that the Jot 2 presents, but it is a musical, detail and imaging champion. It is more fun than so-called "accurate" amps and kills the etchy THX stuff dead in their tracks. Both the E2 and Jot 2 present material with impeccable taste. They are similar in their enjoyment-factor but are different enough in their presentation to be complimentary. I'm keeping both.
I definitely have to hand it to Geshelli for making an amp that does what the E2 does for this price. I would pick it over any value-priced SS amp I've had here. It stands up perfectly well against the Jot 2 (which is twice the price) and I think anyone who is balanced-curious would be well served by an E2.
Soekris Audio ApS, Downloads
Soekris dam 1021 R-2R DAC ILLUSTRATED GUIDE | H i F i D U I N O (wordpress.com)
randytsuch's audio page: Soekris R2R Dam DAC (randytsuch-audio.blogspot.com)
**if any part was confusing, maybe other friends can fill in the gaps and make the guide even better. I don't own a soekris DAC anymore so I'm not sure how much more I can be of help, but hopefully this will suffice for the lot of you**
The kit consist of a pair milled copper rings that fit over the spider, 4 different pairs of foam inserts to go in the magnet hole (the existing foam disc(s) under the outer spider should be removed), and 3 stick-on gaskets (a pair and a spare) that look like sections through a coronavirus to stick over spiders with legs that are too skinny to hold the rings on their own (varies between models or generations):
Besides adding mass the weight is purported to smooth the airflow, the combination resulting in "more detailed bass and a little more sub-bass", which can then be tuned to taste with the different foam plugs. The foams on the left are drilled through with tapered bores; they're placed opposite ways up for the photo. The ones on the right are the least dense material and have the number 3 stamped out through them. Of the remaining pairs, the blue (3rd from left) are more dense and slightly longer than the yellow (2nd from left).
UM 3DT IEM Frequency Response
RED = Stock
CYN = x2 layers outer mask material over nozzle
ORA = x1 layer out and x1 layer middle mask material over nozzle
In a nutshell:
- The price is right, especially with the recent price reduction.
- Conditionally highly recommended, provided you are willing to put in some elbow grease. Difficult highs. timbre, and distortion are largely addressed with tape mod.
- Doubtful everything can be fixed. Mid-treble peakage cannot be totally fixed. There are downsides with taping stuff over the nozzle, stuffier sound, and attenuation of last octave. Some experimentation for ideal material to suit personal tastes and find the right trade-offs may be necessary.
- Nice DD timbre, but DD downsides (treble peakage) not fully addressed
- Good resolution considering price.
With the X, Grado has further differentiated the RS1 with sexier wood cups. I don't know how they pulled this off, but Grado managed to sandwich maple, hemp, and cocobolo in the wood cups. The wood cups on the RS1X are deeper than the cups on the rest of the lineup. The idea I presume is to maximize the coloration of these woods, which IMO is their best and most interesting yet. Make no mistake, the RS1X is a full-blown Grado interpretative experience. Long time Grado fans will love this. Audiophile wanting something a different may love this. For those who want something that plays stuff back more straight up, there are the SR225X and SR325X. Unlike the SR225X and 325X, the RS1X goes for the classic Grado tonal response on yesteryear, that is lean and punchy with upper mid crunch, but dial it back a bit in the mid-treble so it's no so bright.
Did I mention they are $200?